The original Great Game (1800-1917), the clandestine struggle between Russia and Britain for mastery of Central Asia, has long been regarded as one of the greatest geopolitical conflicts in history. The prize, control of the vast Eurasian heartland, was believed by some to be the key to world domination. Teeming with improbable drama and exaggerated tensions, the conflict featured soldiers, mystics and spies, among them some of history's most colourful and romantic characters.
While the original Great Game ended with the Russian Revolution, the geopolitical wrangles for territory and power have continued into the late twentieth century - culminating in the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Karl Meyer and Shareen Brysac's magisterial one-volume survey chronicles nearly two centuries of conflict in vivid and compelling fashion.